July 13, 2017 / 12:34 PM / 8 days ago

WEEKAHEAD-Kenyan shilling seen on back foot, Nigeria's naira stable

4 Min Read

NAIROBI, July 13 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling is expected to trade with a weakening tone as importers stock up on hard currency ahead of next month's election while Nigeria's naira is seen being supported by offshore investors returning to Africa's largest economy.

Kenya

The Kenyan shilling could weaken against the dollar in the coming week as food and oil importers and retail firms rush to buy hard currency and beef up their positions ahead of the election, traders said.

At 1000 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 103.95/104.05 per dollar, compared with 103.65/85 at last Thursday's close.

"We're seeing demand across the board, different sectors looking to buy (dollars), with a few weeks to elections," a trader from a leading commercial bank said. Kenyans are due to go to the polls on Aug. 8 to elect the next president and legislators.

Ghana

Ghana's cedi is seen fairly stable against the dollar in the coming days as a favourable third quarter economic outlook spurs renewed investor confidence, analysts said.

The local unit was trading at 4.4050 per dollar by mid-morning on Thursday, compared with 4.3900 a week ago.

"Q3 is likely to see a fairly stable cedi amidst planned bond issues, falling inflation, and a relatively not-strong demand for the greenback," Joseph Biggles Amponsah, analyst at Accra-based Dortis Research, said.

Nigeria

The Nigerian naira is expected to hold steady as dollar supplies improve on the back of more offshore investors returning to the Africa's biggest economy.

The local currency was quoted flat at 368 to the dollar on the black market on Thursday, while commercial lenders traded it at 305.95 to the dollar in the interbank market against 306.2 a dollar last week.

At the investor forex window, the naira was quoted at 365.34 per dollar on Thursday.

Nigeria's currency window for investors and exporters was established on April 24 and it has traded more than $3.83 billion. Traders said the window had spurred a gradual return of confidence in the OPEC member country's economy.

"We have seen increased dollar inflows(s) from offshore investors into the economy ... this has helped stabilise the currency market," one senior currency trader told Reuters.

Tanzania

The Tanzanian shilling will trade stable against the dollar in the days ahead, helped by inflows from firms in the tourism sector. Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,233/2,243 to the dollar on Thursday, stronger than 2,238/2,243 a week ago.

A trader at CRDB Bank said there were "inflows from tourism".

"The shilling will probably remain stable next week, unless there is a spike in demand for the U.S. currency," he said.

Uganda

The Uganda shilling is seen trading in a stable range, partly helped by possible inflows from offshore investors seeking to take up government debt after the central bank started auctions for 2017/18 fiscal year this month.

At 1009 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,600/3,610, compared to last Thursday's close of 3,598/3,608.

"Some inflows might come in from there," Benon Okwenje, trader at Stanbic Bank said, referring to offshore investors. Uganda's fiscal year starts in July and ends in June and the first Treasury auction for this year was on July 5.

Okwenje said the shilling will likely play in the 3,600-3,615 range over the next one week.

Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Elias Biryabarema; Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Kwasi Kpodo; John Ndiso and compiled by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Alison Williams

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